Ready to place your home on the market? Before you list with an agent, educate yourself about all the possible things you’ll be facing. Be as informed as possible so you can make the absolute best decision. After all, the sale of your home is a business decision!
The general public is largely out of touch with the trends and fluctuations of the real estate market. Likewise, the general public isn’t often aware of the steps necessary to maximize profits on the sale of a home. Typically we rely heavily on an agent to lead us down the most profitable path. When you consider that your home is usually the most valuable asset you own, doesn’t it make sense to list with someone who will maximize your profits?
Read through the following steps required for maximum profit. Keep in mind that the more involved you are in selecting the right agent, the higher your profits will be!
Begin with some research. Find out who the most active agents are in your area. Look at advertisements to see how professional they are, ask friends and family, drive around the neighborhood looking for yard signs, and then compile a list of agents.
- Conduct a phone interview. Place a call to each of the agents on your list. Document how quickly they return your call and remember they will be returning calls to your prospective home-buyers. Do an initial interview over the phone so when you meet you both will be prepared.
- Request a complete plan. Request a complete plan as to the service they can provide for you – from marketing to escrow.
- Evaluate their team. Top producers have established relationships with lenders, title reps, inspectors, and everyone involved in home sales. If they are ill prepared to handle all the steps, you’re being short changed.
- Get a detailed report of your property. Request a complete report of your property with improvement ideas – cosmetic changes, structural repairs, or anything that could add value to your property. Remember, a small investment up front pays many higher dividends at the time of sale.
- Request an alternative report. Request a complete report of alternatives to the sale of your home. What would current market leases generate? Rentals? Responsibilities attached with leasing? Have your agent educate you about all of your options.
- Insist on pre qualification. Don’t waste valuable time negotiating or showing your property to unqualified prospects. Insist that your agent pre qualify candidates to screen out all non-serious prospects.
- Request a net sheet. See in writing a complete net sheet, minus commission and fees, showing your exact proceeds at the time of sale.
- Review a marketing plan. Insist on a step by step marketing plan of how your property is going to be sold and marketed. Look for innovative ways to attract home-buyers. Demand 24-hour advertising, lead accountability and tracking services.
- Review Direct Mail Campaigns. Investigate the agent’s capacity to send direct mail. How often do prospects receive mail? Is it professional? Does the mail piece motivate prospects to respond?
- Evaluate advertising. Is it well written and professional? How many advertising mediums do they use? They should use at least three: a homes magazine, a community or local paper, and yard signs. Remember, the quality of the advertising will directly influence how your home is perceived.
- Determine negotiation strategy. Have a written, well conceived negotiation strategy. The old adage, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” rings true in real estate. Insist on a sound negotiation strategy before you entertain buyers.
- Obtain a closing checklist. Be sure to get a written closing checklist. You need to know in detail how you will conclude the sale of your home. This should provide a step by step procedure that is easy to understand and follow.